The Best Puzzle Games of 2013

It is that time of the year when most of what the year had to offer has passed us by, and we get ready to reflect back to all that we have experienced and start to judge the merits of its offerings.

We here at Segment Next have compiled our own best of 2013 for every category of games that came out during the year.

The following article will present five best games in its particular category, and the winner will be determined by the result of the reader poll in the coming month.

Best Puzzle Games of 2013

The brainteaser genre has always held a backseat to the flamboyant genres of Action, Platformers and now Shooters, however, throughout the years; it has managed to gain prominence on the handhelds.

In the year 2013, the bulk of great puzzle games found their way onto the PC and provided gamers with gameplay that offered far more unique elements and experiences than any other genre in the market:

Scribblenauts Unmasked: A DC Comics Adventure
Fifth game in the Scribblenauts franchise, Unmasked stayed true to its name by bringing the franchise’s staple gameplay mechanics into the DC universe.

Keeping in line with the staples of comicbook crossovers, Unmasked featured series’ protagonist Maxwell meeting Batman and setting out to save the world from his evil doppleganger.

While the game did not contain any revolutionary changes from its previous iterations, the mere inclusion of iconic DC comic locales and characters as well as the addition of DC canon into the game’s vocabulary made it a must play for any fan of the franchise that has an appreciation for the world of comic books.

Stealth Inc.: A Clone in the Dark
A fast-paced stealth, puzzle platformer, Stealth Inc featured a nameless clone trying to maneuver through one test chamber after another to find its way to freedom.

Presenting an experience akin to that of Portal games, A Clone in the Dark presented very tight puzzle and platforming mechanics that also had the Super Meat Boy type instant death, infinite lives system that punished carelessness and rewarded exploration, planning and execution.

What set the game apart from the rest of its puzzle-platforming ilk was the overall character of the game and the design of the atmosphere presented. It was a truly game that was mechanically fascinating and held the player’s attention right till the end.

Set in 1920’s Paris, Contrast offered a truly unique platforming experience that in housed in a beautiful stylized world and plays with the concept of light and shadows.

Contrast allowed gamers to play as Dawn and Didi that could travel in 3D environment as well as in the side-scrolling 2D world of shadows. The game added element of engaging with light sources to effect shadows that make up the platforming roadblocks and hazards.

The game complemented these gameplay elements with a world depicted through noir-art-deco presentation elements. Muted colors, somber designs, minimalist silhouettes and hypnotically classic French soundtrack made Contrast a truly unique experience like no other game in the market.

Antichamber is a first-person puzzle-platformer that utilized geometrical illusions as gameplay elements to offer a new take on traditional platforming genre.

Relying on puzzle elements that require maneuvering through non-Euclidean space and a gun-like device that gains different abilities allowing the player to solve puzzles and advance through the antechamber.

The game featured a very minimalist design where the environments contained an overwhelming black and white aesthetic combined with focused use of bright, psychedelic colors and an ambient soundtrack which provided an almost haunting quality that solidified the out of box experience of playing Antichamber.

A true example of video game experience that, though devoid of fancy presentation effects and AAA production values, still manages to entrap players’ attention through the sheer value of its game design.

Gunpoint featured a short but highly entertaining comedic 2D stealth platforming-puzzle adventure into the noir world of industrial espionage where the game’s private eye protagonist uses his hacking skills and magic pants to hop around the world like a detective Spiderman.

While the gameplay looks simple at the first glance, Gunpoint’s mechanics are deceptively robust, which coupled with its inspired level design make it a game that is supremely engaging and fairly addictive.